Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough | Injury Law Blog

Drug Recall Facts All Patients Should Know

by Staff Blogger | January 30th, 2018

When you’re prescribed a new medication, your doctor or pharmacist is supposed to tell you about the side effects associated with that particular drug. With that information, you and your doctor can decide what the best treatment option is for you.

But what you may not know is that the drug you were prescribed was already recalled or is under investigation due to being linked to serious health problems—many of which may not be publicized by the drug manufacturer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled around 4,500 drugs and medical devices in 2016 alone after first approving them for consumer use. However, it’s up to drug manufacturers to follow up on those recalls and take their dangerous medications off the market to avoid harming others. Sometimes, that doesn’t happen, and dangerous drugs stay on the market for years.

There are three classifications of recalls, each with its own level of severity and urgency:

  • Class I recall – As the most serious recall, products in this category may cause serious adverse health effects or even death.
  • Class II recall – Most recalls fall within this category, which includes products that cause temporary or reversible adverse health effects.
  • Class III recall – Products that aren’t likely to cause injuries or serious health effects are categorized here.

Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough’s team of drug injury lawyers wants to protect the rights of anyone who was hurt by a dangerous or recalled medication. Don’t wait to get help if you or someone you love suffered because of a prescription drug. Call today for a free consultation.

Fentanyl Patches Can Be Deadly

by Staff Blogger | January 23rd, 2018

America is in the grips of an opioid crisis. Sales of opioid drugs have quadrupled since 1999, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2016, nearly 50 people died per day the in the U.S. from overdoses involving prescription opioids.

Fentanyl, one of the most powerful forms of opioids, is responsible for many opioid-related deaths due to its availability and extreme potency. In fact, fentanyl is between 50-100 times more powerful than morphine, making even tiny dosages potentially fatal.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning concerning fentanyl’s safe usage, especially when it’s administered in patch form. People who are most at risk include:

  • First-time users – Fentanyl patch users must be monitored closely, as their risks of overdose are higher during first-time use or during the first 24 to 72 hours after their dosages are increased.
  • Children – There have been reports of children becoming sick or even dying after accidentally–and even briefly–coming into contact with fentanyl patches due to their potency.
  • Recreational users – Because fentanyl is now a popular street drug, the patches are being used recreationally. People who use the patches without a prescription face a significant risk of fatal overdoses.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we’re here to help anyone who was harmed by a fentanyl patch, as even the lowest-strength patches contain enough opioids to cause dangerous side effects, including respiratory depression and even death.

If you or someone you love were harmed by a dangerous drug, our drug injury lawyers want to help. Contact us today–our consultations are always free.

What Should You Do if You Have a Defective Hip Implant?

by Staff Blogger | January 16th, 2018

Several popular hip implants have been linked to serious health conditions and high failure rates, resulting in a recall by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Patients who received those hip implants often need revision surgeries to replace their defective hip implants. However, there are countless patients who still have defective and recalled hip implants inside their bodies.

If you think you received a defective hip implant, it’s important to protect your health and your rights to compensation by following these steps:

  • Speak with your doctor. No matter how long ago you received your hip implant, it’s important to bring it up with your doctor. If you’re unsure of the type of hip implant you received, you may be able to obtain that information from your doctor, as he or she will have access to your medical records. Not all hip replacements have been recalled or are dangerous, so no further action may be necessary.
  • Schedule corrective surgery if you’re experiencing symptoms. In most cases, patients who experience the symptoms of a failing hip replacement won’t get better without corrective surgery. That often means removing the recalled hip replacement and installing a newer, safer version to take its place.
  • Call a defective medical device lawyer. Revision surgeries are expensive. They can also sideline patients for days or even weeks while they recover–which means lost paychecks. An experienced legal team wants to fight for your rights to compensation.

Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough knows how devastating it is when patients like you find out they received defective hip replacements and must undergo second procedures to correct them. That’s why we’re here to help you get the money you deserve. Call today for a free consultation.

Heartburn and Acid Reflux Medications Linked to Kidney Disease and Failure

by Staff Blogger | January 9th, 2018

Heartburn is an unpleasant symptom of a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It involves a painful burning sensation felt in the chest, neck, throat, and jaw when gastric acid is regurgitated into the esophagus due to a relaxing of the lower esophageal sphincter.

Because heartburn and GERD are so common, there are many prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications designed to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. And while those medications are well-tolerated by many patients, they have been linked to serious health problems, including kidney disease and kidney failure.

The medications, which belong to a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), include the following common OTC drugs:

  • Nexium®
  • Prevacid®
  • Prilosec®
  • Losec®
  • Protonix®
  • Zegerid®

A study published in February 2016 found that patients who took PPIs once per day increased their risk of developing kidney disease by 15 percent, while patients who took those drugs twice per day increased their risk by 46 percent.

If you or someone you love developed an illness or injury after taking PPIs, the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough are here to help. It’s our goal to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call today for a free consultation.

How Are People Exposed to Asbestos?

by Staff Blogger | January 2nd, 2018

Asbestos is a mineral that can be configured into a soft and flexible fiber that’s resistant to heat, electricity, and chemical corrosion. It was used in a variety of industrial projects, including the construction of buildings, until its toxic properties were linked to serious health problems including mesothelioma—a type of cancer that affects the pleura surrounding the lungs.

Despite efforts to stop the use of asbestos and to remove it from existing buildings and applications, it can still be found in workplaces and homes across the country. People who are exposed to asbestos even once are at risk of developing health problems like mesothelioma, as the fibers are easily inhaled and can become embedded inside lung tissue and membranes.

Common sources of asbestos exposure include:

  • Workplaces – Although homes can be filled with asbestos, most victims’ exposure occurs at work. Industries such as mining, construction, shipbuilding, and firefighting are at high risk for asbestos exposure, as the material is used in many applications and products that are frequently encountered or handled.
  • Military service – Asbestos was also widely used in the U.S. military between 1935 and 1975. Because asbestos may not cause health problems for up to 50 years after exposure, many veterans are just now beginning to show symptoms of asbestos fiber inhalation that occurred decades ago during their military service.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our mesothelioma lawyers are prepared to help establish that your illness or injury was caused by exposure to asbestos. We have years of experience helping victims of asbestos exposure, and we know the right steps to take find out exactly what caused your health problems. Call today for a free consultation, and let us get to work for you.

Common Dietary Supplements that Interact with Drugs

by Staff Blogger | December 28th, 2017

Dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbal formulas, are heavily marketed throughout the U.S. Many supermarkets and drug stores have large sections devoted to them. While many supplements are safe, it’s important to remember that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t hold them to the same standards that it holds prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Unfortunately, dietary supplements can cause profound impacts on the body that can change the way prescription or over the-counter drugs work. In some cases, they can make those drugs more potent, while in other cases, they can nullify their active ingredients.

It’s important to talk with your doctor if you take any of the following supplements before you’re prescribed a new medication:

  • John’s Wort – An herbal supplement marketed to treat the symptoms of depression, St. John’s Wort can have numerous interactions with common medications, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, some birth control pills, and some HIV medications.
  • Saw Palmetto – Saw palmetto is sometimes used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) due to its effect on male hormones, but it can be dangerous when combined with other hormone drugs, including finasteride. Saw palmetto also may increase the risk of bleeding, making it dangerous to combine with blood thinners.

Because there are hundreds of vitamins and herbal supplements on the market, it can be difficult for doctors to rule out all interactions when first prescribing new medications. Make sure you mention any supplements you take to your doctor to avoid a potentially dangerous interaction.

Were you or someone you love hurt by a drug that was supposed to help you? Get in touch with the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough today for a free consultation.

2 Questions to Ask Your Doctor if You’re Prescribed a New Drug

by Staff Blogger | December 19th, 2017

Going to your doctor and getting a prescription for a new medication can make you feel hopeful about the future of your health. After all, drugs are designed to help cure diseases, reduce pain and inflammation, and treat the symptoms of chronic conditions.

Unfortunately, not all drugs are safe. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains a database of drugs that it or drug manufacturers have recalled due to safety issues—but many of those drugs are still being sold or given to patients.

It’s important for all patients to understand that some medications can worsen your condition or even create new complications. At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we believe that patients can reduce their risks by being active and informed participants in their own healthcare treatment plans.

If you were recently prescribed a new drug, ask your doctor the following questions:

  1. Is the drug safe to take with other medications or supplements? Drug interactions are one of the biggest medication-related dangers to be aware of. Your doctor should determine and address the risks of potential interactions, but if they don’t, make sure you bring it up.
  2. What are the side effects or risks associated with the drug? All medications have the risk of side effects—some of which can be serious and even life-threatening. Ask about them before taking the drug, as they may be more serious than you’re willing to risk.

Our drug injury lawyers know how helpless many victims and their families feel when they’re injured by medications that were supposed to help them get better. That’s why we fight for compensation for people like you. Call today for a free consultation.

What Are the Differences Between Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma?

by Staff Blogger | December 12th, 2017

People who are exposed to asbestos may be at risk of developing deadly conditions in and around their lungs, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. Both conditions cause similar symptoms during their development, including coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue.

Both conditions are serious and can even be fatal, but some of the differences between them include:

  • Location of the disease – Lung cancer forms in the tissue of the lungs themselves, while mesothelioma typically affects the lining between the lungs and ribs known as the pleura. Both conditions can spread to other parts of the body, with mesothelioma often spreading to the abdominal organs and the heart.
  • Survival rate – The prognosis for both lung cancer and mesothelioma is grim. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is around 18 percent, while it’s less than 10 percent for mesothelioma. Early detection is key, but many sufferers don’t become symptomatic until their diseases have progressed into advanced stages.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we know how devastating mesothelioma can be for patients and their families. Treatment options are often ineffective, and many patients undergo difficult therapies with little hope of going into remission.

If you or someone you love was diagnosed with mesothelioma after asbestos exposure, our mesothelioma lawyers want to help. We’ve helped many victims of this condition and their families, and we’ll do everything we can to help you get compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Call today for a free consultation.

What Should You Do if a Medication You Take is Recalled?

by Staff Blogger | December 5th, 2017

Most drugs released in the U.S. are safe for patients to take. But occasionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines that a drug is potentially dangerous due to contamination, a violation of manufacturing policies and regulations, lack of sterility assurance, mislabeling, sub-potency, and many other reasons.

The FDA’s website contains a list of recently recalled drugs, as well as an archive where you can search for drugs recalled in previous years. Unfortunately, recalled drugs aren’t always pulled from doctors’ offices, hospitals, and pharmacies. In fact, patients sometimes continue to take them, putting their health at risk.

If you find out that a drug you were prescribed was recalled, you should:

  • Talk to your doctor. Never stop taking a medication without first consulting with your doctor. Not all recalled drugs are dangerous or likely to pose ill effects to health. There are three classes of recalls, with Classes I and II being most likely to cause patients to develop drug-related complications.
  • Talk to a drug injury lawyer. Drugs with Class I recalls shouldn’t be given to any patients, as the FDA says there’s a “reasonable probability that use or exposure” will cause adverse health consequences or death. If you were given a drug under a Class I recall, it’s important to have a legal advocate on your side.

Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough knows how dangerous recalled drugs can be. It’s our goal to help people who were injured or became ill after taking them get the compensation they deserve. Call today for a free consultation — we’re here to help.

Who Can Help You Avoid Dangerous Drug Interactions?

by Staff Blogger | November 28th, 2017

Prescription medications can dramatically improve quality and length of life for many people. Many medical conditions require that patients take multiple medications. In most cases, patient medication regimens are safe, and each medication operates independently of the others. But some patients may receive prescriptions for new drugs that interact with medications they’re already taking, causing the medications to be less effective or creating dangerous and potentially life-threatening side effects and complications.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we know how important it is for patients to be as informed as possible about their medications. However, that’s not always the case—especially with the busy schedules of doctors and other healthcare providers. Being proactive, including speaking with the following healthcare professionals, can help you avoid potentially dangerous drug interactions:

  • Your doctor – Always mention all medications you’re taking when you are being prescribed a new drug. Your doctor may not be aware of all the medications you take daily or weekly, and reminding him or her can help you reduce your risks of a drug interaction.
  • Your pharmacist – You have another opportunity to avoid a drug interaction when you go to the pharmacy to get your prescription filled. Speak with the pharmacist and let him or her know which medications you’re taking. If there’s a chance for an interaction, the pharmacist can help you take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening.

Drug interactions can cause serious illnesses, complications, and even death. Avoiding them is essential, but it often requires taking things into your own hands. Our drug injury lawyers are here to help if you or someone you love was hurt by a medication. Call today for a free consultation.